Choosing an internet service provider | ACMA

Choosing an internet service provider

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When choosing the appropriate internet service provider (ISP), you should consider the following factors:

  • price and billing
  • performance
  • help and installation
  • security of service.

ISP pricing

There is a range of pricing options and you should expect to pay more for faster internet performance:

  • usage limits that apply to individual sessions, such as data transfer, download, upload or time limits
  • the period of any contract you sign
  • minimum charges you agree to pay over the period of a contract
  • charges that apply if you terminate a contract before it expires.

ISP performance

Regarding performance, any ISP customer should ask the following:

  • How fast is it to get online?
  • Once online, what is the speed of data you receive?
  • What is the risk of you being connected or 'dropping out'?

Sometimes the answers to the second and third questions are hard to obtain as performance is not always within the control of your ISP.

This is due to:

  • factors such as the time of day and traffic on the internet causing variations in the internet's performance
  • variations in the performance of the location, equipment and communications devices of different users
  • variations within the performance of the ISP's equipment.

ISP help and installation

 Ask your ISP about set up and ongoing assistance they provide. You may want to ask your potential ISP to identify all the communication options available, for example, post, email or free call 1800 numbers.

ISP security of service

You should not expect that ISPs will be able to recover an email that you delete. However, ISPs may provide information about how you can back up your data and what steps they take to recover your data if things go wrong at their end.

Last updated: 02 May 2017